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GPhC appoints Louise Edwards as new Chief Strategy Officer

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Louise will succeed Mark Voce who is taking early retirement from the GPhC’s position in July 2024

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has promoted Louise Edwards to the position of Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Registrar.

Louise is currently the Director of Regulation and Digital Transformation at the Electoral Commission, responsible for the organisation’s regulatory work and digital, data, technology and facilities infrastructure.

This includes funding and spending at elections and referendums, registering political parties, enforcement work, and data and information management.

Louise will take over Mark Voce, the GPhC’s current Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Registrar, who is retiring early in July 2024.

Louise said: “Pharmacy services are at the heart of health care for many people. Having effective regulation and standards in place can transform and give confidence in the quality of care that people receive.

“I am delighted to be appointed as the new Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Registrar of the General Pharmaceutical Council, and having the opportunity to deliver its vital work to improve the health and well-being of people using pharmacy services.”

The Chief Strategy Officer is one of the four Chief Officers who share delegated authority from the Chief Executive & Registrar to lead the organisation and provide direction to senior management colleagues.

In her role as Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Registrar, Louise will oversee the GPhC’s strategy, pharmacy education and training, regulation reform, equality, diversity and inclusion, as well as its public affairs and external communication work across all teams. She will ensure these collectively follow a single strategic approach.

Duncan Rudkin, GPhC Chief Executive, said: “Our Chief Strategy Officer plays an absolutely critical role in delivering our vision and objectives. I am delighted that Louise will be taking on the role when she joins us in July, and I look forward to working closely with her.”

Duncan also paid tribute to Mark for “the enormous contribution he has made to pharmacy regulation” during his time in this role, and in his previous roles as Director of Education and Standards, and Head of Inspection.

“Mark’s achievements include leading our programme of work to transform the education and training of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, both before and after registration.

“Mark has worked closely and effectively with stakeholders across Great Britain to introduce once-in-a-generation reforms which will mean that from 2026, all newly qualified pharmacists will be independent prescribers when they join the register,” he added.

According to Duncan, Louise will continue Mark’s work to ensure that the regulation of the education and training of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians is strategically designed, implemented and developed to deliver on the vision agreed by the Council.

Louise will also oversee the development and evaluation of GPhC’s next five-year strategic plan, aimed at realising its vision for safe and effective pharmacy care at the heart of healthier communities.

Prior to joining the Electoral Commission, Louise worked for a range of regulators including the Charity Commission for England and Wales, The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Ofgem and the Home Office.

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Current Issue March 2024

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